A Network for Communities: Building the capacity for change in ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods.

Public First has published a new report: A Network for Communities: Building the capacity for change in ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods.

This research was commissioned by the charity Local Trust to explore how communities in ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods in England have engaged with regeneration programmes and capacity building activity, in order to make recommendations for how they could be better supported in future.

It draws in particular on the experience of New Schools Network in helping hundreds of communities around the country create free schools between 2011-2022, and the support that Local Trust has provided to 150 ‘Big Local’ projects since 2012, as well as in-depth interviews with a wide range of community leaders, community workers, academics and government officials, and staff at both organisations.

After exploring the evidence base on regeneration policy and the experiences of those with experience of living and working in ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods, the report recommends the creation of a new organisation, a Network for Communities. It makes a series of practical recommendations for how this new organisation could be established and run, as well as a series of wider proposals for how the government and wider civil society could more effectively ensure ‘left behind’ neighbourhoods are able to benefit from the ‘Levelling Up’ agenda.

You can read the full report here.

It was launched in June 2022 at an event with the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP.